• Staff report, Jiji

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Tokyo confirmed 189 new COVID-19 infections on Sunday, a day after recording 294 cases, its highest daily rise since Aug. 20, metropolitan government data showed.

The figure for Sunday was based on 5,444 tests. The capital’s cumulative tally of cases stood at 32,618, while the number of seriously ill patients remained static at 36.

Of Sunday’s total, people in their 20s made up the largest group of new infections, at 39, followed by those in their 40s, at 37, and those in their 30s, at 34.

On Saturday, Japan confirmed 1,331 new cases, the country’s third consecutive day above 1,000.

Hokkaido reported 187 new cases, its daily record high, including 141 in the capital of Sapporo.

In Kanagawa Prefecture, new cases also hit a record high of 137.

Both Hokkaido and Kanagawa saw their daily cases exceed 100 for the third straight day.

Meanwhile,Aichi Prefecture confirmed 113 new cases, its first rise above 100 since Aug. 13.

Saturday also saw the country’s death toll from the virus rise by five to 1,830.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has warned of signs of a resurgent spread of the coronavirus in Japan as colder weather drives more people indoors.

While urban areas such as Tokyo and Osaka have continued to see high numbers, there have also been clusters of infections in Hokkaido and northeastern parts of Honshu. Experts say this could be due to more people spending time in poorly ventilated rooms as temperatures drop.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a news conference on Friday that the government was “sparing no effort” to curb further outbreaks and is working with local officials to boost virus testing in entertainment districts where many of the clusters have sprung up.

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